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Form 1023-EZ FAQ

Legal Counsel for Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector

Information and resources on nonprofit law & regulation

Form 1023-EZ FAQ

IRS Form 1023-EZ: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Form 1023-EZ?
  2. Can I file the Form 1023-EZ?
  3. Can I file the Form 1023-EZ if I am seeking private foundation status?
  4. Can I use the Form 1023-EZ to apply for reinstatement after having our tax-exempt status revoked?
  5. Do I have to submit bylaws and articles of incorporation with the new Form 1023-EZ?
  6. What is the filing fee?
  7. How do I file Form 1023-EZ?
  8. How long does it take the IRS to review the Form 1023-EZ?
  9. What if I submit Form 1023-EZ but then, in year 2 or 3, I receive a significant grant that puts my organization above the $50,000 filing threshold?
  1. What is the Form 1023-EZ?

Form 1023-EZ is a new, streamlined, online form created by the IRS for smaller organizations that wish to apply for federal tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3), and anticipate receiving $50,000 or less in annual gross receipts.

  1. Can I file the Form 1023-EZ?

Perhaps. The IRS has created an eligibility worksheet (located on page 11 of the Form 1023-EZ instructions) to determine whether or not a particular organization may use the new form. As mentioned previously, one of the main qualifications is the anticipated level of gross receipts. Only organizations that anticipate gross receipts to be at or below $50,000 annually are eligible. There are many other qualifications and any organization that wishes to file the Form 1023-EZ must complete the eligibility worksheet before submitting the form online.

  1. Can I file the Form 1023-EZ if I am seeking private foundation status?

Yes, provided you meet the other eligibility criteria. The exception to this is if you are seeking private operating foundation status. Private operating foundations may not use the new form regardless of their anticipated annual gross receipts.

  1. Can I use the Form 1023-EZ to apply for reinstatement after having our tax-exempt status revoked?

In some cases, yes. Organizations that are applying for reinstatement should consult IRS Revenue Procedure 2014-11 to determine if they are eligible to file using Form 1023-EZ. Specifically, organizations that qualify to apply for reinstatement under Sections 4 or 7 of this revenue procedure may use Form 1023-EZ.

Section 4 of Revenue Procedure 2014-11 refers to organizations that:

  1. Were eligible to file either Form 990-EZ or Form 990-N for each of the three consecutive years that they failed to file;
  2. Have lost their tax-exempt status for the first time; and
  3. Submit the application for reinstatement with 15 months of the date of the revocation letter or the date the IRS posted the organization's name on the Revocation List - whichever is later.

Section 7 refers to organizations that are not seeking reinstatement retroactive to the date of revocation but, instead, are only seeking reinstatement as of the post-mark date of its application for reinstatement of tax-exempt status.

  1. Do I have to submit bylaws and articles of incorporation with the new Form 1023-EZ?

No. Unlike the full IRS Form 1023, you do not have to submit any attachments with the Form 1023-EZ. However, you do have to attest, under penalties of perjury, that your organization has the proper organizing documents and that those documents contain the necessary provisions required to obtain federal tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).

  1. What is the filing fee?

The filing fee (called a "user fee") for the Form 1023-EZ is currently $400.

  1. How do I file Form 1023-EZ?

To file Form 1023-EZ, you must first create an account at www.pay.gov. Once you have registered with Pay.gov, you will be able to create and save a draft of the Form 1023-EZ which you may then submit electronically through the Pay.gov website after paying the user fee.

  1. How long does it take the IRS to review the Form 1023-EZ?

Because the form was just released this past July of 2014, there is not much data to be able to accurately predict processing times. However, anecdotally, our firm has seen processing times that are significantly shorter than those for the full Form 1023. Many of the applications that we have completed using Form 1023-EZ have been reviewed within 3 weeks.

To check on the status of IRS reviews, consult the IRS website.

  1. What if I submit Form 1023-EZ but then, in year 2 or 3, I receive a significant grant that puts my organization above the $50,000 filing threshold?

This is an excellent question and one that the IRS has not yet addressed. It is possible that the IRS will notice the change in revenues (as illustrated in your annual Form 990) and will ask you to pay an additional fee to equal the user fee required for the full Form 1023, which is currently $850. It is also possible that the IRS will want the organization to complete a full Form 1023 retroactively.

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